1773 – Captain James Cook commands the first expedition to sail south of the Antarctic Circle.
1899 – The United States takes possession of Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean.
1917 – The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands.
1946 – The UN Security Council holds its first session.
1950 – The Great Brink’s Robbery: Eleven thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car company’s offices in Boston.
1961 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the “military-industrial complex” as well as the dangers of massive spending, especially deficit spending.
1977 – Capital punishment in the U.S. resumes after a ten-year hiatus, as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah.
1991 – Operation Desert Storm begins as aircraft strike positions across Iraq.
1998 – Matt Drudge breaks the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his Drudge Report website.